Best Bars in Fitzroy

Updated 8 months ago


Whatever kind of drink or environment you're after, Fitzroy has it. The streets are dotted with sharp wine bars, dozens of great pubs, two of the best cocktail bars in the world, a whisky specialist with table service and of course, a plethora of small, unpretentious bars. And the best bit? They’re all walking distance from one another.

  • This cocktail bar's eye for detail is second to none – it even has an in-house ice company to ensure every drink gets the perfect block.

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  • This suave cocktail bar is consistently recognised in global polls, and for good reason. There's no drink the staff here can't make to perfection.

  • The first bar in Melbourne – and still the best – to ditch all international spirits in favour of a 100 per cent Australian list.

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  • A comfortable and understated local pub with live music.

  • Locals get misty-eyed when you mention the Napier, such is the respect for this backstreet corner pub. The menu is pure comfort, and the interior is full of pressed metal and Australiana kitsch. It’s the kind of local every suburb needs.

  • This jazzy Fitzroy 30-seater blends Japanese izakaya, craft sake bar and record store.

  • Like drinking at your cool grandma’s house.

  • An easygoing cocktail bar from two former nightclub bartenders. With local brewers on tap and syrups brewed in-house.

  • Pinball machines, table tennis, pool and bocce with decent cocktails? Believe it.

  • A north-side iteration of the Port Melbourne wine bar.

  • This Brunswick Street institution has been mixing cocktails for two decades, and it has just as much character as you'd expect.

  • This 19th-century spot has an Italian gastropub menu and a calming atmosphere. Come for the fried pepper chicken with ranch, hand-stretched pizza and crab linguine. Stay for the imported Italian trinkets and top-tier tiramisu.

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  • This three-level pub – which has stood for more than 150 years – is one of Melbourne’s best. It’s an ideal spot for a feed or knock-off pint, whether you’re in the front bar, upstairs in the dining room, or soaking rays on the rooftop.

  • Naked In The Sky is where you bring friends from out of town. Sure, there’s always a crowd, not to mention the added uncertainty of actually getting a seat. But this place has some truly gobsmacking panoramas of the city that are absolutely worth showing off. The excellent food and drinks are just a bonus.

  • A whisky bar with 300-plus rare bottles, including one-off releases never to be made again.

  • True to its name, this ’80s-referencing, queer-friendly, vegan-leaning American diner packs a nightclub-quality soundsystem and a mezzanine DJ booth. Drag trivia and bingo are held regularly here, alongside glitzy techno and pop parties.

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  • Cocktails, fine liquor, obscure beer and sport aren’t obvious bedfellows, but it works here.

  • A local’s bar for locals and visitors alike.

  • A night of tapas and wines at this glowing wine bar is cheaper than a ticket to Spain. Order Iberian share plates (including plenty of seafood) and Jalapeno Margaritas, while Grace Jones plays in the background.

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  • An unpretentious spot for great beer, live music and authentic Philly cheesesteaks.

  • This taqueria is a simple kind of place, with just two beers on tap and tunes spinning away on the turntables behind the bar. Local hospitality workers like to stick their heads in for a quick chat and a taco before their shift. It’s open until late on weekends, so many return for a wind-down drink after work too.

  • A live music staple in the centre of Fitzroy.

  • Perched high above Hotel Fitzroy, this timber-clad bar is the perfect place to kick off an evening on Brunswick Street. The cocktail list is classic, the wines are affordable and Ichi Ni Nana downstairs will ferry sushi and Japanese pub-style snacks to your table.

  • Choose from 1500 beers to take home, or drink in and match with a cheese plate

  • Not even a devastating fire could keep down this Fitzroy institution, once known as Bimbo Deluxe. DJs, cheap pizza and good times are still the name of the game here.

  • Fitzroy’s oldest pub is for the old guard and the new. You’ll find footy fans gathered around the TVs on game days. When the vibe’s right, it’s like you’ve got 100 mates, 16 beer taps and better-than-usual food in your lounge room.

  • Pick a bunch of shared dishes from the day’s menu on the wall. Order some wine with help from the switched-on staff. The format’s simple, but as we’ve come to expect from Andrew McConnell’s restaurants, everything is just right.

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  • Formerly The Rochester Castle this place has never lost its party pub reputation. DJs own it on weekends, but the slick pub mains means it’s equally suited for a quiet midweek feed.

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  • This all-day diner serves the goods any time you need.

  • Under the stewardship of star chef Andrew McConnell, this classic bar and dining room in a heritage building feels as vital as ever. Throw back easy-drinking lagers and cocktails with a burger or the rotisserie of the day.

  • Ascend three flights of stairs to reach this convivial loft, where arched windows offer views of Collingwood. The bar menu offers refined snacks, while the slightly quieter restaurant serves heartier, modern Australian dishes of market fish, oysters and meaty share plates.

  • The best-named pub in town is focused squarely on two of Fitzroy’s biggest obsessions: live music and beer. There’s no kitchen or TV here, making it a no-frills hangout with good local tunes, lively conversation and many games of pool.

  • A good old late night bar sporting character in spades.

  • Take everything you think you know about tequila and shelve it.

  • Industry experts from Rockwell and Sons and Attica joined forces for this stylish drinking den. The best way to sample the changing dishes is through the set menu (don’t skip the sourdough flatbread). Plus, an extensive wine list offers everything from buzzy pét-nats to classic chardonnays.

  • An outdoor drinking spot in Fitzroy that’s more relaxed, and smaller, than its older sibling.

  • While a new wave of revamped pubs adopts the retro look, this old boozer has no need. Its old paintings, retro couches and warm red walls fit the bill. But it’s the pool table and cheesy parmas that locals return for.

  • Fitzroy’s dense with pubs, but The Standard commands one of the suburb’s fiercest followings. Rusted-on locals pack the all-weather beer garden (the owners claim it’s Melbourne’s biggest), and the front bar feels warm and lived in.

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  • Indie craft beers are king at this unpretentious bar and bottle shop. Visit for hazy and wild brews, plus decadent French dip sangas by permanent pop-up, Jolly Good Sandwiches.

  • If Johnny Cash and Nick Cave had a drink together in a Melbourne bar, it would probably be here. The menu maintains a simplicity ethos (including pizzas, parmas and burgers) alongside a succinct list of decent wines and beers.

  • No cocktail shakers, no ice, and everything is served in the same wineglass. With some serious technique, the team wants to broaden our ideas of what a cocktail can be.

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  • The Sydney staple’s first Melbourne outpost is pouring wild ales, natural wines and sour Negronis. Come to the hybrid bottle shop and bar for beer-infused cocktails, Belgian lambics and a snack-driven menu.

  • Find classic Japanese snacks and party-friendly cocktails at this sprawling izakaya. Across two levels, go for karaage and gyoza alongside natural wines, cocktails made with Japanese whisky and Stomping Ground rice lager on tap.